The Book of Hell and Paradise

The Remarkable Idea

Have you ever wondered how we got the idea of such a thing as heaven or hell? Well, it all started out with humans. Our minds are massive and we can't help that we are curious. It is literally wired into our brain to wonder about the unknown question of why. One of the main things we can't figure out is why we were created and more importantly what will happen to us when we die.

Well, it all started out with the Italian poet Dante Alighieri when he started wondering about this same thing. So he wrote three books called The Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradisio. Now I want you to close your eyes and picture what the devil looks like in your mind. Did you think of someone red with horns and a tail? Then you have experienced some of his impacts because this is exactly what he wrote in The Inferno. During this time though, many hated the book and even tried to kill him due to it. Not once but twice. Especially the priests who he placed in hell since they were accused and found guilty of rape. He even made a diagram that had all the priests who did this on certain levels of hell facing the punishment of flaying. Flaying, if you didn't know, is when the skin is peeled off of them while they are still alive and once all the skin was gone it magically appeared again and happened over and over again for eternity. Another outcome of this book during this time was the fact that Italy didn't want any part of it. So he was deported not once but twice.

In his next book though he wrote about purgatory, which is the place you go if you didn't do anything good enough for heaven or bad enough for hell. The interesting thing about this is that when churches started believing and using these books as references in the later years they started to ignore this book. Why, you may ask. Well, it was because they wanted people to only believe that if you are good you go to heaven and if you are bad you will go to hell. They didn't want people to believe as long as they did some good in their life they would reach purgatory where there is no torture or paradise but just emptiness. So they basically stopped using this book in all churches and made it seem as if it never existed by slowly taking it out of their lectures and have it fade into nothingness.

Then finally came the book of paradise or heaven. Where if you asked God to forgive you for your sins (your moral sins) he would accept you into his loving kingdom and grant you your paradise. This at the time and even now it makes people want to go there because why wouldn't you want to finally live in the paradise you have always dreamed for? This book not only made more people believe but it also accentuated a reason for being good beside the fact that it was just a nice thing to do.

So now you all know just as I learned that these ideas are just the works of one of the greatest poets of all time known as Dante Alighieri. This work was not made to make you stop going to church or criticize the churches but to show you how some of these ideas came to be and where they came from. So please do not think I am bashing your religion because trust me I am not because I respect all religions as I would want mine to be respected. This was just made for your entertainment and even to teach you a little about the history of some of the ideas we have.

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The Book of Hell and Paradise